Where do we go now?

Musings about another division title
Catching up to the Red Sox

It almost feels like there’s no game tonight. Sure, the broadcast will start at 7 p.m. and the Yanks and Rays will play an official game. But it just feels like an off-day. It feels like one of those days where you can take the night off, spending it with family or friends rather than in front of the TV. There might be some fun with all the kids in the lineup and perhaps on the mound. But really, if there was ever a night to take off, this is the one.

With the division well in hand, and with home field advantage throughout the playoffs on the horizon, there’s not much left to worry about until Friday the 30th, when CC Sabathia takes the hill for Game 1 of the ALDS. Even the final series of the year against the Red Sox, against whom the Yanks are just 4-11 this season, means nothing. So what in the world can we do for the next eight days?

Worry about home field

The Yankees currently hold the top spot for home field advantage for the first two rounds of the playoffs, leading both Detroit and Texas by five games with just seven to play. That’s quite a deficit to cover in such a short span. Their magic number against Texas is just two, since they’re 7-2 against them this season. For Detroit the number is three, since the Yanks played like crap when they visited the Motor City earlier this year.

In any case, something tells me that we’ll see a combination of three Yanks wins and Tigers losses before year’s end. That’ll put the Yanks at home for the first two rounds, an advantage they’ll have had just twice in the last five years.

Watch the Sox

Sure, plenty of fans will still worry about the three upcoming games with the Red Sox. Some people just sweat them for no rational reason. But watching the Sox this year has little to do with the Yanks’ record against them in 2011. It’s largely irrelevant, since, you know, AL East Champs. But the Sox are currently ensconced in a Wild Card race, and it always brings a little pleasure to see Sox fans sweat.

Watch the Wild Card race

At 88-68 the Sox currently have a two-game advantage over both the Angels and the Rays in the Wild Card race (though they have three more wins than both teams). Ideally, all three teams end with 90 wins. That means the Sox would have to go 2-4 while the Rays and Angels go 5-2. It might be a stretch, but it sure would provide some additional entertainment.

If all three teams finish with the same record, they’d go to a three-way playoff. This would affect the playoff schedule as a whole, since there’s only one off-day between the regular season and Game 1 of the ALDS, and they’d need two days to play these games. Here’s how it would break down. On Thursday Boston would host Anaheim in a one-game playoff. The winner would then travel to Tampa to face the Rays to determine the AL Wild Card. That would have to happen on Friday the 30th, though, which is scheduled to be Game 1 of the ALDS.

Late Add: Commenter Tom O. asked why the three-way playoff would go like this, so I’ll answer up here. The inset part of this article lays out the rules. The schedule is based on head-to-head records. The Rays are the best here, having gone 16-10 against the Sox and Angels. The Sox have gone 12-14 against the other two, while the Angels are 6-10. Hence, Sox vs. Angels, winner vs. Rays.

Argue about awards

Talk about the Cy Young Award and MVP races started back in August, for some unknown reason. There was a point, back then, when Adrian Gonzalez got most of the AL MVP attention. Those days are long past us, though. The narrative has shifted, and it now appears that Justin Verlander has a stranglehold on the award.

Don’t let the narrative fool you, though. It’s constructed by certain media members, and they don’t necessarily have a vote in the matter. At the same time, plenty of writers who do have votes have remained quiet on the issue. There are a few deserving candidates in the AL. Here are the final four:

Jose Bautista
Justin Verlander
Jacoby Ellsbury
Curtis Granderson

Meanwhile, Verlander has a lock on the Cy Young Award, and rightfully so. There is a debate in the NL race, as Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, and Clayton Kershaw have all garnered consideration recently.

Watch the kids

Finally, we get back to the Yankees. Chances are you’ll see the A lineup going once the Yanks head down to Tampa next week, since they’ll need the tune-up heading into the playoffs. But you’ll certainly see some of them removed before playing the full nine. You’ll also see all of them get breather days between now and Wednesday. That means young kids, which is always fun to watch.

We’ve seen most of the kids on the position side, so now it’s time for the pitchers to shine. Last night both Andrew Brackman and Dellin Betances warmed in the bullpen, but did not get into the game. We could see them this weekend against the Sox. George Kontos has pitched already, but we could see a little more of him. We might even get to see Phil Hughes pitch a little in relief, which might prove a little refreshing.

Yes, the final eight days of the regular season will bring little excitement for the Yankees. They’ve clinched what needs clinching, and are nearing the final goal: homefield advantage. Along the way, though, there should be plenty of items to hold our interests. The Wild Card race in particular will be great fun. Go Angels. Go Rays.

email
Musings about another division title
Catching up to the Red Sox
  • Tom O

    On the subject of a one game playoff, why would Boston play the Angels in that situation, as opposed to BOS-TB or TB-LAA? Does it have to do with head to head records?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joe Pawlikowski

      Added to the post. Good call. Yeah, it’s head-to-head records.

      • Hardy

        According to your added link, Tampa would travel to the winner of the Angels-Red Sox game and not play the game at home like you have written in the article.

        • Rosco

          Wait a second. Are you saying that the team with the best head to head record gets home field for a play in situation? How did baseball mess this up. I thought it was whichever team had the most curtain calls during the all-star game decides that.

  • Stuckey

    I field the AAA team tonight and then go full-out against the Sox, particularly Friday night.

    Breaking it down Mon-Tue-Wed is more than enough time for everyone to get their rest.

    • MannyGeee

      nope. opposite.

      I give Jeter tonight off and DH A-Rod. and then I give the ENTIRE starting 9 the weekend off. trot out a likeup like this against the “1927 Yankees, Version 2.0″

      Nunez – SS
      Chavez – 3B
      Montero – DH
      Jones – LF
      Posada – 1B
      Dickerson – RF
      Golson – CF
      Pena – 2B
      Romine – C

      Make this happen, Girardi.

      • http://twitter.com/JimIsBored JimIsBored (Jim S)

        /Monteroisdinero wet dream’d

      • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

        Chavez second? Romine ninth?
        If I had to run that squad out there it’d look like this:

        Nunez-2B
        Dickerson-RF
        Montero-DH
        Jones-LF
        Posada-1B
        Chavez-3B
        Golson-CF
        Romine-C
        Pena-SS

        Also, I’d prefer Nunez at second and El Nino at short.

        • MannyGeee

          OK, I can swallow that.

          Point being, I would love to see all the regulars sit out a game or three and let the kids play the ‘Best Team in the History of Foreverdom (TM)’

  • tom

    Is it just me being a paranoid fan, or did this “Verlander is the CLEAR MVP” narrative arise just at the moment AGon’s numbers had slipped enough he was no longer the consensus Red Sox choice? It’s almost as if the powers that be are determined the race not be won by Bautista or a Yankee, and they switched horses en masse.

    • jsbrendog

      agonz shouldnt even be in the picture and never really was. ellsbury is their mvp candidate and has been for awhile now.

      imo it is between elbsury and granderson, and if the red sox dont make the playoffs it has to be c g-rand

      • MannyGeee

        yes, this. 200 hits is nothing to sneeze at. Granted, Granderson has been better IMO, but Ellsbury has taken the thunder from AGon

    • Nuke Ladoosh

      Not just you. I see your point and agree.

    • Ted Nelson

      A lot of people legitimately feel that the MVP *HAS* to come from a playoff team… which I don’t understand at all. It’s about how valuable a player’s performance was to his team, not about how many games his team won.

      • MannyGeee

        unless the playoff team is too good, in which case he does not deserve it due to his supporting cast…

        /Jeter’d

  • Foghorn Leghorn

    I honestly feel like I’m in Bizarro World…up id down, down is up…

    I’m enjoying this divisional crown very much but it just feels so odd to have it all wrapped up. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that the Yanks would have this wrapped up with 7, count them…SEVEN games to go.

    And the sox…holy crap..what a friggin mess and I don’t care about playoff matchups. I don’t want them to make the playoffs b/c they don’t deserve it.

  • Vocabularry

    It just kills you guys to mention that Ian Kennedy is being talked about–in many, many places about being considered as a Cy Young candidate in the National League. It kills you so much that you won’t mention his name.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joe Pawlikowski

      If I’ve ever said a bad word about Ian Kennedy, please point it out to me. Otherwise, please kindly stop throwing around accusations.

      • Vocabularry

        Please point out to me why regardless of all the positive press about him this year, and deservedly so, you don’t mention his name in this article.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joe Pawlikowski

          Because the only way this article remotely relates to him is the line about the NL Cy Young, and I happen to think that Kershaw, Lee, and Halladay are more deserving.

          • Vocabularry

            What I’ve read here at RAB within the last two months is that Ian Kennedy would be a “bad” number two starter in the AL East. Further, that his record is primarily a product of being in the NL West–which is where Kershaw is also. Kennedy also pitches home games in a launching pad.
            He is desserving of being mentioned as a Cy Young candidate, as the vast majority of other places and articles elicit.
            The most press he got at RAB all year was when he got bombed for 9 earned runs in three innings very early in the year. Deny it if you’d like, but the facts illustrate otherwise.

            • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joe Pawlikowski

              You say they’re facts, but there are no citations. Please find them. I think you’ll find that they’re all in the comments.

              • Vocabularry

                It was a RAB radio show that you did with Mike right after it happened. There was also sentiment expressed in a RAB Chat that “you” –meaning Mike–“felt sorry for Arizona that Ian Kennedy was named their number one starter.”
                You guys have mitigated his great year all year—evreryone knows it.

                • http://twitter.com/JimIsBored JimIsBored (Jim S)

                  “everyone knows it”

                  No, everyone doesn’t agree with you.

            • http://twitter.com/JimIsBored JimIsBored (Jim S)

              Did you read any of the main authors saying he’d be a “bad” #2 starter? Or commenters? Because I think you’re fighting the wrong battle here.

              Kennedy is not deserving of the Cy Young. It has nothing to do with him being an ex-Yankee. Do you want to know the real reasons?

              Here you go:

              Player: IP/ERA/FIP/xFIP
              Kennedy: 222/2.88/3.23/3.46
              Kershaw: 236/2.27/2.42/2.82
              Lee: 226/2.38/2.58/2.68
              Halladay:227/2.41/2.18/2.68

              Kennedy lags behind in every meaningful stat you can find. He’s been great, but he hasn’t been Cy Young great.

              • http://twitter.com/JimIsBored JimIsBored (Jim S)

                Correction: Kennedy has 216 IP.

              • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

                He’ll get votes. He shouldn’t win, but he should get votes.

                • http://twitter.com/JimIsBored JimIsBored (Jim S)

                  Sure, but not 1st place votes. What irritates me most about this thread is that I’m glad Kennedy has done so well, I’d rather not have to bring up evidence against him.

                  And sure, he can deserve votes without deserving the award.

                  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

                    The only thing is that the Cy ballots are only three deep. I can’t see voting for him ahead of Halladay, Lee, or Kershaw. The 20 wins will get him on a bunch of ballots though.

                    • http://twitter.com/JimIsBored JimIsBored (Jim S)

                      Yeah. I was trying to stay non-committal. I def wouldn’t vote for him over the other 3, but if people have him 3rd on their ballots, it wouldn’t bother me.

            • The Big City of Dreams

              Why would they purposely not mention Kennedy?

            • jsbrendog

              this is a GASP! yankee blog. and ian patricvk kennedy is not a GASP Yankee!!

        • Heisenberg

          Because of the 3 guys he did mention?

          • Vocabularry

            I wish I was able to make a friendly wager with you that he’ll finish higher than Cliff Lee in the Cy Young voting. Don Mattingly just talked about how awesome Ian Kennedy is. He compared him to Greg Maddox.
            Of course, Don Mattingly doesn’t know much about pitchers, does he?

            • Foghorn Leghorn

              who the hell cares…the Yanks just won the division soak it up for a day

            • jsbrendog

              no he doesnt, that is why he isnt a pitching coach and was never involved in pitching or evaluating talent in any way

            • MannyGeee

              When did Mattingly get a Cy Young vote? how dare you not cover this news RAB!

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

          Why is the NL Cy Young relevant to this article?

          • Vocabularry

            The relevancy, Nr Third Man in the Ring, is that Joe wrote in the article about potential NL Cy Young Candidates.
            Why are you guys so sensitive to justified criticism when you demonstrate such obvious bias?

            • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

              Bias about what? He could have just as easily listed Madison Bumgarner and Cole Hamels, but he didn’t.

              • Vocabularry

                I know your bias about Kennedy, Mike. And deep down when you do a little soul searching, you know it, also. A bad number 2 in the AL East?? Come on.

                • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

                  That’s funny. I have no bias against Kennedy, in fact I was one of his biggest backers when he was here and not pitching well. Why is saying he’d be a number two in the AL East (I don’t ever remember saying a “bad” number two, as if such a thing exists) such a travesty?

                  • CP

                    Considering that his current 3.46 xFIP would be tied for the 4th best xFIP among starters in the AL East (before considering the impact of pitchers hitting), I think it’s safe to say that he would be a #2 starter in the AL East.

            • Bill

              First of all, it was just an aside mentioned in a single sentence. It’s not that big of a deal. Second of all, I find it difficult to believe that if you turned on ESPN to listen to any of its commentator shows that you would find Ian Kennedy being supported as fervently as any of the names listed in the article. Third, I’d just note that Cliff Lee blows Ian Kennedy away in ERA+, for what that stat is worth.

              • Vocabularry

                He pitches in a launching pad, Bill.

                • Bill

                  And ERA+ controls for that.

                • http://twitter.com/JimIsBored JimIsBored (Jim S)

                  Guess who else pitches in a launching pad: Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee.

                  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

                    In a tougher division too.

                  • Vocabularry

                    Many of you guys have the weird perception that to say anything really good about Ian Kennedy is to call in question the awesome trade for Curtis Granderson.
                    Every few weeks, Mike in particular, recites that he would make the trade all over again right now if he had to. That he recently talked about the trade to a friend.
                    That clearly demonstrates uneasiness and concern. None of you want Ian Kennedy to do well. Regardless of your protestations.

                    • http://twitter.com/JimIsBored JimIsBored (Jim S)

                      What? This is batshit insane. I love watching Yankee prospects succeed.

                      You keep avoiding using any concrete evidence of Kennedy hatred, instead you’re making the illogical reach that liking the result of the trade means we think the other members of the trade got a raw deal.

                      “Regardless of your protestations.”

                      When someone starts talking in absolutes, I stop responding, because you won’t listen.

                    • jsbrendog

                      oaktag. you’re insane.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      I agree with you that many Yankee fans do seem to feel that IPK’s success somehow takes away from Granderson’s; however, I think you are going about making your case in the wrong way. You have specifically called three (or more) individuals out for doing it. If you feel that’s the case, just go back and find a few links that prove your point (if they exist).

                • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

                  He pitches in a launching pad … against the Padres, Giants, and Dodgers. His team has the best offense in the division, by far.

                  • Vocabularry

                    And he shut out the Phillies in Philadelphia this year.

                    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

                      And gave up seven runs to the A’s in Oakland this year as well. What’s the point of citing one game?

                  • Vocabularry

                    I’ve made my point and it’s fruitless to continue this. Ian Kennedy’s name deserves to be included in any article/any discussion with regard to NL Cy Young Candidates in 2011. I did not say that he should win.
                    I did say, and stand by it, that this particular Yankee cite (and I am a huge Yankee Fan) has a history, of downgrading his performance this year…..And indeed Mike, you did say a “bad” number 2.

                    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

                      Even if I did say a bad number two (which I don’t remember, and you still have yet to provide evidence of), what’s wrong with that? Being a number two in the ALE is damn good and should be taken as a compliment.

                    • jsbrendog

                      Ian Kennedy’s name deserves to be included in any article/any discussion with regard to NL Cy Young Candidates in 2011

                      hmmmmm…no, no he shouldn’t

                    • http://twitter.com/JimIsBored JimIsBored (Jim S)

                      Heh, you definitely made your point, that’s for sure. I admire you standing by your points with absolutely no evidence behind them.

                    • day-o

                      Very good job defending Ian, Mrs. Kennedy.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      I do think Yankees fans in general are overly dismissive of IPK and fans in general throw around statements like “bad #2″ or “not a #1″ without any evidence… but if you want to prove that a specific person said a specific thing all you have to do is search for it and provide a link. Otherwise you’re basically doing the same thing you accuse them of by throwing things around without evidence.

                • Nuke Ladoosh

                  Can you give one historical example where “home ballpark” influenced voters?

                  • MannyGeee

                    yes… any time the home park =/= Yankee Stadium.

            • jsbrendog

              this is not justified criticism.

    • Ted Nelson

      Yankees fans in general do seem to dismiss what IPK is doing, but in this case I really don’t think Joe needed to mention him or avoided mentioning him… I don’t think he has any claim to the NL Cy Young, or even consideration. Wins are a team stat, not an individual one. IPK has been great for Arizona, but I don’t think he’s a legit Cy Young candidate. Joe also doesn’t mention CC as a Cy Young contender in the AL, though he’s a much better candidate for that award than IPK for the NL award IMO.

      • MannyGeee

        Yankee Fans dismiss IPK when another Yankee fan says

        “SEEE I TOLD U!!!! WE SHOULDA NVR TRADED I PEEEEE KAAAAY!”

        To which most people defend trading him vs trading Hughes or Joba.

        Again, in January 2010, it made a ton of sense

        • Ted Nelson

          I see it a lot of times totally unprompted and with Granderson not even mentioned. Just IPK’s name coming up. I’m not saying all Yankee fans do this, just that it does happen fairly often.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joe Pawlikowski

      FanGraphs is biased against Ian Kennedy, too.

      http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs.....ff-awards/

  • Tiny Tim

    We don’t try tonight and help keep the Rays in the race. Keeping the Rays in is good for us. We wouldn’t face them in the 1st round anyway.

    The MVP is clearly Granderson. Pitchers shouldn’t win. The Sox are fading away and with it Ellsbury’s MVP chances. Grandy’s on a division winner. Where would the Jays be without Bautista? In 4th place just like they are now. Grandy’s the AL MVP.

    • Heisenberg

      What do you think of this scenario Tiny Tim?

      Next year Bautista does exactly the same thing, I mean pitch for pitch. But their pitching is better and guys around him hit better, causing them to be the wild card.

      Would Bautista then be the MVPlayer? I don’t understand how the team does should affect his chances as the MVPlayer.

    • JobaWockeeZ

      It makes perfect sense to penalize Bautista for having sucky teammates. Out of the dumb narratives in baseball this by far is the worst.

    • http://twitter.com/JimIsBored JimIsBored (Jim S)

      Fun story: Where would the Yankees be without Grandy? 1st place, just like now, assuming the worst, that you put a 0 WAR player in CF.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      Where would the Jays be without Bautista? In 4th place just like they are now.

      Why are you considering team performance for an individual award?

      • CP

        Technically, the award is the “Most Valuable Player” award and not the “Best Player in the League” award.

        • Ted Nelson

          A really great player on a bad team can still be very valuable to that team.

    • Ted Nelson

      Yankees would probably be in 1st without Granderson too… They’re 7.5 up on the Red Sox and Granderson is clocked by fangraphs at 7.3 WAR, which doesn’t consider that they’d probably move Garder to CF and have someone above replacement level (Jones and a lefty platoon mate, for example) in LF.

      And why shouldn’t pitchers win?

  • theyankeewarrior

    Joe Girardi, can we please play none of our regulars tonight?

    And Tampa, can you please find a way to win a damn baseball game?

    Thanks,

    theyankeewarrior.

  • Yankeegirl49

    There is so much good about this article, starting with the GnR video..thanks!

  • nsalem

    Watch the Yankee games and hopefully see some of the prospects and root for the 3 way tie to get the eventual winner as rundown as possible. I don’t care who we play because the Yankees are probably the best team in the American League. I care even less who is the MVP or the winner of any other invidual award. I care even less than that for the people that vote for them

    • JAG

      There’s also the consideration that a three-way tie that pushes back the start of the ALDS allows CC to start on normal rest, even if he makes the start Monday.

  • Dan

    I would have added “watch the race between the Tigers and Rangers” as that will most likely determine who the Yankees face in the first round, unless the Angels pull off the comeback and take the wildcard though I will be rooting against that happening. I would not want to have to face Weaver and Haren in a short series. As far as the Tigers and Rangers, I will root for the Tigers to finish in 2nd so the Yankees face Texas.

  • mt

    I agree – the AGon love has diminished and now everyone wants to talk about how pitchers should win MVP – I do think it is somehow connected – If Granderson were batting over 280 and did not strike out so much (isn’t he going to set the Yankee single season record?) I think there would be more love for Granderson. He also has that “he is a bad centerfielder according to sabermetric stats” to overcome.

    As for Ian Kennedy – I have not commeneted before but as a somewhat disinterested observer I think there is somewhat of a discounting of Kennedy by the writers on this site – it used to be the dismissal that “he wouldn’t do as well in AL East” (funny you do not hear that as much about Lincecum and Kershaw). I would hope Colon’s and Garcia’s performance this year in AL East would put those automatic dismissals to bed. Yes, AL East is tougher but it may mean that if Kennedy maintains current performance he might move from a perennial top 5 NL Cy Young candidate to “only” a perennial AL 15 game winner.
    Still very valuable.

    The pro- Granderson argument – and I love Curtis – never gets to the fact that if Kennedy is like this for the next 5 years (not to mention that Jackson and Coke do also have some value or upside – I also sense a lot of automatic dismissal of Jackson possible improving yet we hold off on Phil Hughes dismissals as a bust since he is young and still may improve) that the Yankees may actually have lost the trade. Then you also put salary differences in the mix; we do it with Carl Crawford and Brett Gardner so we should do it with Granderson vs Kennedy/Coke/Jackson.

    It is OK to like Curtis Granderson and also to have overpaid for him or put the “wrong” pitcher (i.e, Joba or Huighes) in the trade. It will not be the first player that Yanks have overpaid for whether in trade or by salary (Mark Teixeira of 2011, come on down!)

    • http://twitter.com/JimIsBored JimIsBored (Jim S)

      Even if there was talk about how Kennedy wouldn’t do well in the AL East, that was near the beginning of the season, and was absolutely a fair point to consider.

      I challenge anyone to find an author(or sane commenter) talking about how Kennedy would be a horrible AL East pitcher since the ASB.

      And I don’t mind anyone pointing out that Kennedy could make that trade seem weighted in AZ’s favor, eventually. What I mind is when people use that as proof that Cashman sux, that the Yankees make horrible decisions, etc. Letting Kennedy go in that trade was the right move at the time.

      Anyway, for MVP I’m probably still voting Bautista. And still rooting for the Yanks to win out, I don’t subscribe to the “throw the games” belief just to watch Boston wallow in misery. Worry about our team; worrying about other teams is the territory of Boston fans.

    • nsalem

      Granderson was paid 8 million dollars this year and I believe Crawford made over 20 million.I don’t believe we overpaid for Granderson in any way shape or form. I would make this trade over again in a second. We can only speculate how IPK and Jackson would do in New York. We now know for a fact what Granderson can do here.

      • http://twitter.com/JimIsBored JimIsBored (Jim S)

        I think he meant going forward, since I believe Kennedy is cost-controlled longer than Grandy is.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

          He is, and that’s why this wasn’t an either/or thing with Kennedy/Hughes/Joba. Kennedy had more service time than the other two, it made him that much attractive. People can’t just say “they should have given up Hughes instead of Kennedy,” it doesn’t work like that.

  • http://riveravenueblues.com Theo

    No way Ian Kennedy has the same kind of year in the AL East, and I’d still make that trade.

    • mt

      I actually agree with you – I would still make trade since yanks are a “win now” organization – but just as trade should not be used to bash cashman as an idiot but also need to entertain concept we may have overpaid. We admittedly overpay players all the time with cash and talk about it ad nauseum but getting folks to contemplate to admit we overpaid on a trade makes people crazy.

      • http://twitter.com/JimIsBored JimIsBored (Jim S)

        The reason the Yankees overpay, and do it relatively frequently, is because one of our big advantages over other teams is money, and we can afford to overpay whereas plenty of other teams cannot.

  • Rick in Boston

    Axl. Rose. So Machiavellian of you, Joe.

    Sitting here in Boston, I can say that a large number of Sox fans have already started planning for hockey, and that there is little faith in a successful October. I’m looking forward to seeing the start of the Killer B era, preferably tonight or against the Sox.

    • JobaWockeeZ

      A killer b against the Sox would be an asbolute massacre. Matsuz esque.

      • http://twitter.com/JimIsBored JimIsBored (Jim S)

        Nah. Not that bad. At least when the Killer B’s throw strikes they have MLB stuff. Matusz was throwing 90 mph straight, poorly located fastballs.

        • JobaWockeeZ

          Brackman would instantly die. Betances is 50/50 and ManBan had some control issues this year and he’s hit his innings limit.

          If their debut is against the best offense in baseball it won’t be pretty.

          • http://twitter.com/JimIsBored JimIsBored (Jim S)

            Yeah, Brackman would def be up shitcreek. I always forget he’s part of the Killer B’s because his season was so awful.

            I’d still like to see Betances or ManBan, just for giggles.

      • Ted Nelson

        It’s a whole lot easier to get 3 outs in one inning than to make a full start and go through the order multiple times.

  • Monteroisdinero

    Of the three, I would prefer playing the Rays over the Sox and Angels.

    • http://twitter.com/JimIsBored JimIsBored (Jim S)

      You know the best part? Those other teams are probably a lot more worried about facing us than we are about facing them.

  • JobaWockeeZ

    What’s RAB’s consensus on who the AL MVP is?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      I really have no idea. Any of Granderson, Ellsbury, Verlander, Bautista, Cabrera would win it, and I wouldn’t argue.

      • http://twitter.com/JimIsBored JimIsBored (Jim S)

        Yeah, Cabrera is getting no love at all this year, but he’s definitely up there.

      • gc

        Here we go again, Mike. You just can’t bring yourself to include Ian Kennedy in the AL MVP discussion, can you!!!!

        Oh wait, sorry…….
        :)

  • KeithK

    How about this? Stop worrying about “what’s in it for me?” and just enjoy watching your favorite team play baseball.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      That’s not the American way.

  • Stuckey

    How’s this – “winning” or “losing” trades is fanboy bulls**t, whether you’re arguing the Yankees one it or are painting yourself as “objective” to argue how the Yanks lost it. It’s spinning wheels either which way.

    Best trades are trades that help both/all teams. This one did.

    I legitimately wish Ian Kennedy all the success in the world, and all the future Cy Youngs he can garner, until there comes a day when the Yankees meet him in the WS, when I hope he sucks that day, or better yet, he’s good but the Yankees offense is better.

    I’m not even going to defensively/defiantly say “I’d make the trade again”. That’s irrelevant too.

    I like this Yankee team and their prospects for the future. I like Brian Cashman (who like everyone else is imperfect) and think the Yankees are better with him than without. I don’t have any trade regrets.

    What else is there?

    Ian Kennedy is a real good pitcher.

    Good for him.

    • http://twitter.com/JimIsBored JimIsBored (Jim S)

      Only one quibble, because I agree with 99% of what you just said.

      ““winning” or “losing” trades is fanboy bulls**t”

      I can’t completely be on board with insulting trade analysis, because this is a yankees blog, and talking about stuff like that(winning and losing a trade included) is what makes baseball discussion (potentially)fun.

      • Ted Nelson

        Agreed, and also contributes to how many games a team wins or loses…

      • Stuckey

        No one ever said you can’t have fun discussing bulls**t.

        But a GM’s criteria in making trades is making YOUR team better at the end of the day. That can be and is often independent of some head-to-head stat comparison.

        Given what Kennedy and Granderson have both produced in year 2, it should be recognized that whomever “won” is subjective by nature, and at the end of the day, the margins aren’t severe either way.

        • Ted Nelson

          A GM’s decision making process also often comes down to trading one guy or another in the same trade… which is one reason Yankees fans are not happy seeing IPK do well while Hughes struggles. At the time I doubt many of those same people would have traded Hughes in IPK’s place, but in hindsight that’s what hurts.

    • JobaWockeeZ

      You have to clarify what you mean by this “Ian Kennedy is a real good pitcher.”

      Are we talking about the Front Office pitcher development ability because if so then yes he’s good. If you are talking about him in a way that you want him back then he’s a “number 5″ in the AL East.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joe Pawlikowski

        He’s a number 5 because you say so, right?

        • JobaWockeeZ

          It’s a mock on how people think that if he’s back IPK will immediately suck…

      • Stuckey

        That this needs to be qualified is part of the problem.

        Starting pitchers “1 through 5″ is perhaps the biggest waste of fanboy time as there is in baseball.

        Never has anything so meaningless been debated so much.

        I still see people (HERE) arguing Nova’s “peripherals” don’t qualify him as a “2”.

        Talk about missing the forest for the trees.

      • Tom

        IPK has developed a cutter since being traded…. that really has made a huge difference and is in part what has elevated his game.

        Minus the cutter, I think the #5 starter talk/struggling in the AL East is/was fair.

        Would he have developed the cutter in NY? Maybe, or maybe he would be struggling to maintain a spot in the rotation and focus on maintaining the spot as opposed to developing a new pitch.

    • Ted Nelson

      Whatever the team traded away could theoretically still be on the team or have been traded in another deal, so as a fan I absolutely do think it’s worth discussing trades. There’s nothing that’s going to come of it, but same can be said about pretty much everything fans discuss.

      “Best trades are trades that help both/all teams. This one did.”

      As a fan of the Yankees, I think the best trades are those where the Yankees give up little of value and get something of great value. Like the Nick Swisher deal, for example.

      • Stuckey

        Problem is the evaluation is measured on a sliding scale, what can really be drawn from it.

        What if Granderson gets beaned in the head and his career ends tomorrow. If Jackson goes on to have an average but lengthy ML career, will Cashman LOSE the trade over time?

        And can we really just assume Kennedy would perform the same way in anything other than the situation he’s been in? Maybe Arizona was the right time and place for him, and his development into what he is now is dependent upon his specific circumstances and not some objective level of talent we assume he’d reach anywhere he happened to go.

        Trying to gauge who Ian Kennedy would be today if he wasn’t traded is speculative fiction.

        I’m all for fans having fun on blog forums, just arguing it should be fully recognized as such.

        • Ted Nelson

          There are some qualifying factors to consider when discussing previous trades is not the same as your initial (offensive) rant about how everyone discussing things you disagree with is nothing but “fanboy bullshit.”

          • Stuckey

            Only thing you’re missing here Ted is referring to me as Hitler, otherwise it’s a classic non-rebuttal rebuttal.

            “Winning” and “losing” trades is about after-the-fact PERCEPTION.

            Yes or no?

      • Jimmy McNulty

        Agreed a thousand percent.

  • Tampa Yankee

    I heard an interesting theory on how Verlander could win the MVP. Gammons was on Dan Patrick and he thinks that Cano, Granderson, Bautista (who he thinks deserves it), AGon, Ellsbury and Pedrioa will each take 1st places votes away from each other and because the writers don’t want to vote for a pitcher as MVP they will have him 2nd or 3rd that he may win based on total votes. That would suck!

    • Sweet Dick Willie

      But, as Michael Kay pointed out last night, some voters don’t believe pitchers should win the MVP, and thus leave him off the ballot entirely.

      It would only take a couple of such writers to make it almost impossible for Verlander to win.

  • Jimmy McNulty

    I say they should field:

    SS: Nuñez
    3B Laird
    1B Chavez
    DH Montero
    LF Jones
    RF Dickerson
    CA Romine
    CF Golson
    2B Peña.

    Basically lay down for the Rays tonight, tell the offense it’s basically an off day so do what ever the hell you want, swing away, take, steal if you get on base, lay down a bunt, I don’t give a shit…have fun. Sweep Boston over the weekend and hope Tampa sweeps the Jays, then they can just lay down for Tampa during the final series of the year and worry about just setting the rotation up.

    • Monteroisdinero

      I like this lineup but it ain’t laying down. Could easily win with it.

  • Tom

    The three way tie scenario is a mixed blessing… it kills one of the travel days in the LDS (and if TV gets it’s way, it’s likely the travel day between games 2 and 3)

    This means 4 games in a row/travel day/game 5 if needed… this wipes out any idea of a 3 man rotation, it also makes it harder to run Mo/Ro/So out every game. With a 2-2-1 setup you could conceivably pitch these guys in every game if needed without totally frying them.

    While the rotations of the wild card teams would likely be messed up coming out of that… if the Red Sox or Rays end up coming out of it, that’s of no help to the Yankees as they end up with either Texas or Detroit

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